Esmonde was one of several small settlements that sprang up along the Opeongo Colonization Road during the mid-19th century. Built to service the lumber industry, it contained a number of farms along with a saw and shingle mill, a post office, a school and two churches, Anglican and Catholic. Esmonde was always a small place with a peak population of about 25.
After the Ottawa, Arnprior and Parry Sound Railway (later Canada Atlantic Railway) opened in 1893, traffic along the Opeongo fell silent. By then, depletion of the farmlands forced the farmers on to better farming areas.
Although Esmonde no longer appears on the maps, it still stands out. Dominated by the presence of a large Roman Catholic Church, which still holds regular services, the village still plays an important role in the area. A community hall, located near the church, also remains in use. Learn more